ORLANDO, Fla. - 9 Investigates and Channel 9's Vanessa Welch secured a rare interview with a woman whose fiancé was creating child porn inside their home -- and using her own daughter.
Welch discovered the man's crimes were part of a larger network operating in central Florida. The local mother, Erica Ebersole, told Welch she wanted to share her story to alert other parents.
Ebersole and her fiancé, William Osman, were planning a spring wedding in Orlando. She said she had no idea the father of her baby girl was keeping a dark secret until police showed up at her door last fall.
Ebersole told 9 Investigates Osman acted like a great father when they were together. But investigators said the exploitation of her daughter started two days after Christmas in 2012 when the little girl was still a baby.
Osman, 33, admitted to taking sexual pictures with the 1-year-old and sharing them with other men, according to federal court documents.
He pleaded guilty to having, producing and distributing child porn.
“Anybody who could do that is a monster,” Ebersole told Welch.
Some may find it hard to believe Ebersole didn’t know what was going on, but people who investigate these crimes said this happens frequently.
“The mothers are always the last to know," said Brevard County Agent Mike Spadafora.
Spadafora caught on to Osman when he found pornographic images on another suspect's phone. He said trading child porn can easily progress to sexual abuse. He should know: As a head investigator of child sex crimes he has seen disturbing trends in the lurid, online world.
"The ages of the children are getting younger, and the sex acts are getting more brutal,” Spadafora said.
Ebersole said Osman was alone with their daughter every Wednesday for about two hours when she went to the doctor's office.
"The only times he would do this was times that I was away," Ebersole said.
At first, she thought he was the perfect father, but looking back, she was suspicious of the way he always kept his cellphone so private.
"He had locks and locks on his phone," Ebersole said. "It even took police a while to get through the locks."
Osman is accused of using his phone to trade child porn with another man, Michael Glascock, who was indicted by a federal grand jury on eight sexual exploitation charges.
Glascock is still in federal custody and his case is still working its way through the court system.
Forensic investigators with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office extracted videos, pictures and text messages from his phone, which led them to 50 other suspects and helped them save 14 children from a life of abuse, including Ebersole's daughter.
"There is a big word out there, 'stranger danger,' but in all reality, most children are being abused by a known person in their own life," Spadafora said.
"A person living two separate lives," Ebersole said. "It was all a lie. Nothing I knew about him was real."
Osman is set to be sentenced in federal court on May 29. Ebersole will be there to make a statement, and she intends to ask that he get the maximum 70 years in prison.